Do Big Youth Groups Work?

June 24, 2014

Teri alerted me to this latest White Horse Inn and the quote below. If you still have children at home, I’d encourage you to listen to what Mike Horton and T. David Gordon have to say. Passing the torch on to our children is a challenge. I think parents are most effective when they live the truth at home, and when they routinely worship with their children in a church that preaches the Word, and will love and pray for the parents and children of the church.

“… Not only are we not keeping our youth, as it were, which is the great fear; not only is it not working, but insofar as that they see any pattern, the curious thing is: the churches that do not have big youth programs, or even any youth program, are retaining their young people through their twenties at a higher rate than the churches with big youth programs. … [Statisticians have] demonstrated it! And at first that seems counterintuitive. ‘What? You mean we have a $75,000 budget in our church for a youth director, and all the bells and the whistles, and we’re getting nothing for it?’ And the answer is ‘of course, you can see why!’ Because Christianity is not all about me. It’s all about Christ, and my serving Christ. And so, if for six or seven years in the youth program, we throw pizza, and Pepsi, and movies at someone, and then at some point, magically he hits 21 and we say, ‘Now, we want you to come out for the Church work party, and clean the gutters out, or do this, that, and the other, or keep nursery,’ he goes, ‘Woah, woah, woah, where’s my pizza? Where’s my Pepsi? Where’s my movies?’”


One Response to “Do Big Youth Groups Work?”

  1. phfs9 Says:

    I’d have to say that I have seen this very scenario over the years with 2 of my paternal side nephews. One eventually grew to a maturity level that understood it was time to lay the pizza and pepsi perks aside for more adult-type Christianity and the other did not fare as well with it. But, the absolute most great and wonderful works I have seen done with youth groups are those large youth groups who’s destiny, goal and purpose are to minister to troubled youth and youth with drug problems. Those youth groups have reached many a kid effectively right into adulthood.

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